Mumbai: Ghanshyam Singh, the Assistant Vice President, Distribution, Republic TV who was kept in custody for 26 days on false charges in the fake TRP case was brutally tortured, physically assaulted, and lashed with a ‘chakki belt’ during his time in Mumbai Police custody. He was ultimately released on bail on 6 December after incarceration in custody after 26 days.
In a big development, this is now part of an application filed before the Bombay High Court. The application narrates a stomach-churning description of the atrocities by the Mumbai Police in the garb of a custodial interrogation inflicted upon Ghanshyam Singh. Ghanshyam Singh will also file a detailed affidavit of the torturous ordeal he was put through in Mumbai Police custody.
On day 2 of police custody, Ghanshyam was repeatedly pressured to parrot a premeditated script to self-incriminate and incriminate his network in the TRP case, but when he did not give in to the pressure tactics deployed by the Mumbai Police, he was threatened and taken to a room dressed with torture tools and lashed multiple times.
Apart from the physical torture that Ghanshyam was put through, he was repeatedly psychologically tormented at different points during his 26 days in custody.
In a vicious, torturous, and ferocious ordeal, Ghanshyam Singh’s torrent of harassment, torture and brazen abuse of human rights in police custody is now part of the official record before the courts.
Ghanshyam Singh was arrested on 10 November 2020 by the Mumbai Police and spent 26 days in prison. He was released after a City Civil and Sessions Court, Greater Bombay court order of bail on 5 December 2020.
The chilling details of police cruelty is a horrific abuse of human rights. It is clear the protectors of law and order are now the inflictors of torture & torment, and the courts will certainly not ignore this.
The spine chilling details filed as part of the interim application by the Republic taken into a separate room and physically tortured, how the police force was saying in Marathi “ inko maaro maro maro” and how he was barbarically hit and whipped with a thick belt. The interim application says “ Singh was forced to extend his hand before the police officers and he was whipped by a chakki belt three times (twice on the right hand and once on the left hand). It is thus clear that the methods of torture were preplanned and put in place even before Singh’s questioning commenced, given the room was already laden with the said torture tools. Singh suffered immense pain and cried out loudly because of the force with which the police officer was lashing him, but the subordinate police officers following the instruction of the senior police officer kept lashing him ”
Narrating how all due procedure was disregarded, the interim application speaks of Ghanshyam being assaulted in blatant disregard of human rights of persons in custody and fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. It says, “Singh to another room where he was encircled by police officials. The Police officer then reiterated his threat by saying “Aap aase nahin manoge…” and “…Abhi batao, tum paise diye, aap mile the inse…” while referring to an individual who Singh did not know. Explicit attempts were made to compel Singh to narrate falsehoods or face severe consequences”
Shockingly, the interim application says, the Police Officer was saying “…Abhi bhi nahin bologe toh humare pass aur bhi raaste hain” The application says, “ Singh was left with deep bruises and injury marks on his hand following the assault on him in custody. All due process was disregarded, procedural safeguards were sidelined and a horrific, horrendous and heinous exercise to assault him in custody, torture, harm and physically break him down were undertaken.”
Republic Media Network’s interim application says, “The police officers repeatedly tried to psychologically pressurise and coerce Singh to extract a false narrative that never was in relation to the alleged TRP scam”. Narrating the gross act of mental cruelty, the application says, “they threatened him by using phrases like “…tum toh phass gaya” and said that Singh’s ordinary life would never be the same by listing examples like not being able to get a passport or travelling outside the state. These statements such as “…tumhara passport nahin milega””
The Interim Application filed states how open threats to Ghanshyam Singh’s physical well-being if he did not admit to the commission of offences (which he did not commit) and his assault. It says, “While Singh maintained that there was no wrongdoing and repeatedly stated that he had not made any payment to manipulate TRPs, he was threatened by the senior police officer of the Respondent No. 3. In fact, one of the police officers intimidated Singh by saying- “humare pass doosrae raaste bhi hain… half hour later you will say… 10 days later you will”. This was an open threat to the physical wellbeing of Mr. Singh to harass and intimidate him, put fear in his mind, an attempt to psychologically break him and threaten his safety”
The complete denigration of procedural safeguards by the Mumbai Police in the TRP case becomes clear when the application say, “In a frightening pattern as mentioned above during Singh’s custody, where he was tortured, despite narrating true facts, the Mumbai Police repeatedly changed the statement given by Singh and asked Singh to sign them. Before Singh’s court appearances for hearing of his remand/bail applications, the police officers would not let Singh read his statements and would force him to sign the said document. When Singh raised the issue with the Respondent no. 3 police officers multiple times, he was bluntly told that the statement was in Marathi and “…kuch bhi nahin hota hai”. Without letting Singh know as to the statements made by him, he apprehends that the said statements were being surreptitiously altered before he signed them.”